The clock is ticking! We've two months to visit ten long-listed museums and galleries throughout the UK before announcing our shortlist of four in May 2011, the winner to be decided in June.
This year (2011) our first panel visit with our chairman Michael Portillo was to Hertford Museum (Friday 18th Feb) - a compelling little market town museum with dedicated volunteers and a wealth of local collections -including a fabled Bezoar Stone...We coincided with the WI market day and returned with various excellent produce including Lemon Drizzles and potted plants.
In the week the runners were announced I visited incognito* the amazing, arabic-style Leighton House, the Kensington residence of the great Victorian painter and sculptor Alfred, Lord Leighton.
* If a judge cannot attend on the day of the official panel visit they will do so incognito at another time -although last year hawk-eyed receptionists last year did manage to intercept and accompany me on my unannounced appearence.